Here is a list of what I use for servicing my cameras as well as other things:
Isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) Soft, weak like many other usual alcohol sorts however is best and safest for cleaning lenses, prisms, optical surfaces. Buy at least 99% pure to not leave any traces when dries up.
Acetone: Aggressive.. cleans perfectly, rather for metal surfaces, not for optical, plastic, rubber or painted surfaces. Dries in seconds. For quick use. Buy over 99% pure for best results. (For those who could not find pure acetone, paint thinners having toluene can be a weaker substitute)
Trichloroethylene (or the solutions based on it; to be used in very small quantities and by wetting q-tips for example) : Aggessive, your dry-cleaner stinks like it. Cleans perfectly, rather for metal surfaces, not for optical, rubber, plastic or painted surfaces (or to be used with great care and least possible quantities). Cleans gum, oil and residues on metal parts. To unscrew stuck optical retainer rings, flanges around lenses apply it carefully with the tip of a 1.5mm screwdriver and let settle for minutes then try to loosen. Use to clean body surfaces before sticking your new vulcanite (acetone also can be used for this.)
Lighter fuel: Best for cleaning your camera parts and safer than trichloroethylene. Leave your parts in it for some hours and then clean with a small brush or toothbrush. It leaves a very faint residue as a film, so better clean the surface with acetone for example, in case you are to stick/glue something on it again.
Mix of oleic acid + ammonia + aceton + liquid dish soap: For those having small ultrasonic cleaning devices it works wonders but can be used also for plain tray cleaning with brush. Leave your body parts in it for some hours and then brush away the dirts deposited since decades. Heating to around 50C helps.
For all other cleaning purposes isopropyl alcohol seems to be a handy and safe way including the optical surfaces. (Certainly not to "wash" the optical surfaces as it may creep into the lens rings; just wipe with q-tips soaked in it and after drying wipe with microfiber... )
These are what I was using since decades..
Last edited by BobYIL : 05-29-2011 at 05:50.
Reason: more explanation..